Hi Everyone,
I'm Michelle Linn-Gust, a new blogger to LegacyConnect although not new to the world of survivors of suicide loss as I lost my sister eighteen years ago to suicide and have since written several books on the topic. I'm involved in the study below. We're still seeking people to help with this. If you're interested, my email is included. Please email me directly.
Thank you,
A study reviewing the emotions in suicide notes funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, is seeking people who are survivors of suicide loss to help identify the emotions in the notes. 

Once all the emotions are identified, a computer can use your work to learn to find those emotions in other text. With this research and others we are doing, we hope to find new ways to determine if someone might attempt or die by suicide. Each person will review 50 notes (not all at one time).

If you have lost a loved one to suicide and believe you can review at least 50 suicide notes, please email Michelle Linn-Gust at michelle@chellehead.com

Thank you for your help. The outcomes of this study would not be possible without help from survivors of suicide loss.

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Replies to This Discussion


I offer my condolences on the loss of your sister. Im able to do the survey, but I think its asking too much of some here, especially if they suffer recent losses. Hope your survey helps but Im not sure I understand the premise. Judge 50 suicide notes to see if you can predict an attempt ? If its a note its an attempt right? On a personal note my brother didnt leave one.

Thank you for your response. Sue. Having worked with survivors for eighteen years, I can tell you that it varies who is able to do the survey. I have learned not to judge people. We just recruited from a group of 1,000 survivors in support groups and there were some people who were relatively recent in their grief and could do it but yet we also had some people ten years out who thought they could and found out they couldn't. We gave them an opportunity and that's all we can ask of anyone. There are a lot of lessons we continue to learn about survivors and helping them cope. The premise isn't to predict an attempt, it's only to identify the emotions that are in the suicide notes (and these notes are all from people who died by suicide). It's teaching computers how to recognize those emotions with the hope that one day computers will be able to predict the attempts. It's the first time that survivors have been invited to be part of a large-scale prevention research study (it's not my study personally, I am the person who has been asked to manage the participants). Let me know if you're still interested. I would need your email address as I can't post the link to the web site on a post. Michelle

Okay thanks for the clarification Michelle. Obviously its up to each individual to decide if they can handle it, Im not trying to speak for all, just pointing out that some survivors may not be ready for that. Not now not ever. I wish you and all who have particpated the best and take comfort in knowing you that you are trying to make a difference. I applaud any effort in trying to prevent another loss to suicide.


Dear michelle,I am so sorry on the loss of your sister.I do not understand what goes thru the thoughts of a suicidal person.but I would like to learn about it.a 23 year old boy from my town committed suicide about a week and a half ago.and my hearts aches for the family.they are completly devastated,as we can all understand.this boy gratuated from college in 2010,with a degree in civil engineering.I will look to your discussions in the future on this topic.thank you for your caring and sharing on this heartbreaking subject.regards. Geri



I thought I replied to this once, but I cannot find my reply. After my daughters death was ruled suicide, I went online to find out what was ther for reference and how others handled this situation.  Of course, each one is different.  I thought very intensely about writing a book of how I felt, but I couldn't think straight enough at that time and I was still working.  Now I am retired from work and have alot of time to spare so i am trying to put together a book of my poetry.  Most of it was written abouty me, my feelings at the time and my children before and after their deaths.  I wrote three poems this week.  Soemtimes they just ocme to me in the middle of the night, and other times it takes a while.  But i always write down what I am feeling at the time I am writiing.


When my daughter died, she was left handed and she was shot in the right side of the head kind of behind her ear.  I asked the police department investigators and the coroners office to research left-handedness anbd the possibility of someone who did everything with their left hand - to shoot themselves with their right hand.  The actually researched this, and sent me a copy of their research.  I presume this is the type subject you might be interested in. I have more.  I would love to write about this subject.  It's all I think about daily but that is because I do truly want to do osomething to help others so they will not have to go through what we have been through.




Linda Warriner

Hi Linda, Thank you for your note. I actually was only working on that study with the suicide notes because they came to me as I had the access to the participants they needed. My work isn't related to suicide notes at all but when I'm asked to help out in studies, I'm more than happy to help if I can. Good luck with your poetry! Take care, Michelle
Hi Michelle; I sent you a friend request hoping that it would help me to get to you regarding suicide note study.  Please let me know if I can be of some help to you in studying 50 suicide notes.  I am a survivor.  My father committed suicide when I was 15 years old.  I am now 59 years old and I am here to help someone grow.  It was not easy growing up when you witness your own father's suicide.  For years I carried guilt.  But I stand today to be a help to someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.  Write me back please to let me know that you still need help.
Hi Dianne, I talked to the study people yesterday and they told me they may want a few more people although the study is closed. I will let you know when they get back to me. Thank you!
I would but I think it is still too soon for me for something that heavy; I think it might be too upsetting.  However, if you need an suicide letter to evaluate, I would forward my son's to you for admission into your study.
Thank you Michelle for your response.  Please keep me posted regarding the study.

Michelle Linn-Gust said:
Hi Dianne, I talked to the study people yesterday and they told me they may want a few more people although the study is closed. I will let you know when they get back to me. Thank you!


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